The affluent countries waste millions of tons of edible food. Supermarkets, restaurants, canteens and manufactures are identifiable in this respect. For example nearly 500 million pots of yoghurt are thrown away every year in Britain. 50% of food disappears between the plough and the plate. Up to a third of school meals are thrown away, A quarter of food products purchased are thrown away. The Cooperative Supermarket wastes the least food of the British Supermarkets, followed by Morrisons, Tesco, Asda , Waitrose and the worst is Sainsbury’s with over 50 % more waste than the Cooperative Supermarket.
Poor and misunderstood labelling can lead to good food being thrown away.
Obviously food poisoning is a real problem But one can be ultra cautious.
EU food-labelling law require most pre-packed food to carry a “use-by” or “best-before” date, the “best-before” date is a mark of quality, “use-by” date of food safety. But the date may mean that the food could be past its prime but safe to eat. Sell by is for the convenience of the shop and does not reflect any nutritional. Value. All very confusing.
A ridiculous example is bottled water which has been in the ground for thousands of years , but once in a bottle has a brief use by label.
Tristam Stuart No appetite for waste Financial Times Weekend Magazine July 4/5 2009. p 30-35
Based on an important book
Waste: uncovering the Global Food Crisis Author Tristram Stuart : Penguin Publication.
- Martin Eastwood